This afternoon I took the MAT Route 95 Bellevue Express from downtown Omaha to Old Town Bellevue. The idea was to log a bus ride for the YP Bus Challenge, but not wimp out on a nice workout in this great spring weather. I had been talking with Brady about wanting to step up the cycling activity a bit, and decided to put my legs where my mouth is.
Before leaving work, I looked at the various wind speed and directional indicators that I use (flags on the First National building) to plan a route. The fierce and incessant south wind told me that I should try to ride south to north, if I could. I've taken a bus to ride home on the Keystone from the north before, so I was up for a change.
The 95 was very different from typical city routes. Once it drops off a lot of folks at the No Frills Park and Ride on Fort Crook Road, it turns uphill to meet up with Bellevue Boulevard and then continues south to Old Town Bellevue. The boulevard is a very scenic route running through the prettiest rolling hills in Bellevue. This route would get you close to the trails at Jewell Park, by the way.
Once in Old Town, I rode up to a convenience store for some Gatorade and Nutter Butters cookies. I didn't have a water bottle with me, so I knew I'd need some liquid refreshment. Then I headed down to Hayworth Park where the Keystone Trail/Bellevue Loop terminates.
View Keystone Trail in a larger map
I hunkered down and rode, slowly, against the wind for the first five miles. I kept a low gear and high cadence, to avoid stressing the still-tender knee. Finally the trail turned west, and then northwest, and I got to enjoy 15 miles of sweet tailwind all the way to Grover Street. I didn't have a speedometer or GPS running, but I think I was cruising 18-20 MPH without straining too hard. I know I got a decent workout, though, as there was quite a bit of sweat involved (most of it on my glasses; how can I stop that?).
My morning ride to the 76th and Cass MAT transit center was five miles, and my ride home from Bellevue was 22 miles. After getting minimal miles over the past two weeks of the YP Bus Challenge, I was very happy with my 27 mile commute today.
Now if I could only do a 27 mile commute every day I might drop a few more pounds and get some faster legs.
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